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WRITing a poem


If you already have a topic in mind, just write about it. Don't try and make it look or sound like a "poem". Write about your emotions, what interests you about the topic, what confuses you, why you want to write about it. Don't hold back. 


If you are having trouble finding what you can write about, start making lists: 10 things that make you angry, 10 things that make you happy, 10 things you are interested, 10 things that are unique about you. 

Choosing Your Words 

When you are trying to describe something: think about sensory details

What sounds, feelings, visuals can you add to improve your description?

Tropical Flower

Break your Lines 

Sad Girl

Why are you choosing to put one word next to another? 

How will you end each line in your poem?

Experiment with your line breaks, your word choice, what themes you choose in the poem.


A poem does not have to be about one topic. It can include so much more. ​It can be imaginative, experimental, about what is unfamiliar to you and what is familiar to you. 

Read your poem out loud, and read it again. If you are comfortable, ask one of your teachers or friends to read it. Take time to think about whether the poem really says what you want it to say. If it does not, go through each line and edit your word choice, how you structure your sentences (syntax) and your rhythm. It is okay to feel as if a poem is not ever finished, but you just need to go ahead and get started!

Edit, Edit, Edit!


Think and Re-Think

Allow some time to reflect on what you want to write or what you have written.  Where is are inspirations or ideas coming from? Where can you find ways to make your work reflect your voice? How can you better develop your voice? 

You have the tools you need to write, get started!

If you need inspiration, think about the prompts below and write a poem as your response. Some of the prompts will be quotes and others can be single words.


For further guides, take a look at the Resources page and the Art for Inspiration page. 

Colorful Bird
Image by Chris Lee


"Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink"

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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